Fundraiser aims to reach record heights
IN FIVE days, nine Coffs Coast locals will pack their bags with their sights set on reaching the peak of Africa's tallest mountain - and it's all for a worthy cause.
Russ Holland, of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, will lead the small but determined crew to the 5895m summit of Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for the life-saving service.
The team includes four young people, three dads and Russ' co-expedition leader, Kirsten Howton.
"We've been training hard for six months and none of the crew have done anything like this before, so it's been a bit of an eye-opener," Russ said.
The team will depart for Tanzania on Thursday, and will spend two and a half weeks completing the trek.
Russ, who climbed Kilimanjaro in 2013, said challenging aspects included adapting to climactic zones.
"You start in desert-like conditions and go to -20 degrees at the summit.
"But it's about challenging yourself to give everything you've got... and it's also about doing something for somebody else in that process."
With more than $22,000 already raised, the team are off to a great start.